Home | Key Findings | Presentations | Publications | Conclusions | Funders


  • The MarClim project has demonstrated the importance of the rescue of historical data in providing a baseline for the previously warm and cool periods against which to measure responses of biodiversity to current rapid climate change.
  • Marine species, including plankton and fish show rapid responses to alterations in climate. Such changes are also clearly seen and easily quantified for intertidal species providing cheap sensitive indicators of environmental change.
  • The rate at which the biogeographic limits of southern intertidal species are extending northwards and eastwards towards the colder North Sea is up to 50km per decade far exceeding the global average of 6.1km per decade in terrestrial systems.
  • Differential rates of range extensions and contractions are likely to result in a short-term increase in biodiversity on rocky shores close to the biogeographic boundaries. However, as the climate continues to warm biodiversity is likely to return to previous levels as northern species ranges retract to be replaced by southern species resulting in different species compositions.
  • Only sustained broadscale and long-term decadal observations can separate global environmental change from regional and localised impacts from the intrinsic natural spatial and temporal variability of marine ecosystems. Rocky shores provide an ideal sentinel system to monitor such changes in a cost effective manner.